Get your Leaking Toilet Fixed!

“My toilet is leaking”.

This is one of the most common phone calls our plumber, Craig, receives.

A leaking toilet is one of those plumbing issues that is annoying but, in our busy-ness, we often ignore, thinking we’ll get to it “tomorrow”.   You may be surprised to know that a medium toilet leak could waste about 1,000 litres of water a day!  If you’re paying for your water or water levels in supply lakes have been low (as they were here in Wellington this past Summer) or you’re simply conscious about wasted resources, that is a significant amount of water that you don’t want to waste.

You can catch a leaking toilet early to save water and to get it fixed before it gets worse.  Watch for water trickling into the bowl between flushes.  A small leak will be almost soundless and cause just a small ripple in the water.  If your toilet system is older, it will have an overflow pipe coming from the side of the cistern which may also drip.

Although, did you know it’s not actually a “leaking toilet”?  Nothing is “leaking”, as such.  And, if we’re going to get finicky about it, it’s not the toilet that is malfunctioning but the cistern.  Over time, the rubber and plastic components inside the cistern wear down and require fixing or replacing.  Toilet cleaning detergents and additives to our water contribute to the corrosion of these parts.  These components work together to stop and start the flow of water into the bowl and are generally what require fixing or replacing when a toilet is running.

If you’ve got a running toilet, Craig can usually repair it in under $150.  He’d be keen to help.  Go and check yours now!

Craig and Julie

Landlords and Property Managers – We’ve Got Your Back!

Whenever you sign a tenancy agreement, as a landlord or property manager, you hope your new tenants are going to take care of the home you have provided them.  Some tenants are great, but some don’t particularly care about looking after your investment.  Over his time as a plumber, Craig has encountered shocking plumbing issues in rental properties that have gone unreported by tenants, often leaving small issues to become big, expensive problems for the landlord.

Well, we’re here to help and to give you some peace of mind that your investment is in good shape from a plumbing perspective.  Last year, we developed a new service – our Plumb Warrant of Fitness.

What is checked in a Plumb WOF Inspection?

In a warrant inspection, all aspects of your plumbing are checked.

  • Hot water system
  • Bathroom, kitchen & laundry plumbing
  • Spouting & downpipes
  • Water & drain pipes
  • Water pressure

Only accessible, visible plumbing can be checked – Craig will not be digging up your lawn or opening your walls!

 

The WOF Report

After Craig has done the inspection, you will receive a thorough written report, itemising what has been checked and making professional recommendations.  All recommendations will be fully explained so you can make an informed decision about any plumbing work you would like to have done.

 

How Much Does a Plumb WOF Cost?

It costs $59+gst per house/flat – that’s it!  Should you decide on receiving the report that you want to go ahead with any of the recommended work, the cost of that work would be additional.  As many plumbing issues aren’t obvious until they’ve already caused significant damage, a Plumb WOF is money well spent.

 

For landlords and property managers, we recommend an annual Plumb WOF for your property.

Take a look at our leaflet and book your Plumb WOF today!

Craig & Julie

Dripping Taps – Money Down the Drain

“Drip…drip…drip”.

It was the middle of the night and I lay awake listening to one of the taps in our ensuite drip.    I resorted to putting a towel in the basin for the drips to land on silently. It made me think about the wasted water and the impact on our water heating bill – a tap dripping every minute, every hour, every day…

Fortunately I’m married to Craig, and he was able to fix the tap straight away and minimise the wastage. Being married to a plumber has ceertainly made me more water conscious.  Did you know that even a slow drip can waste approximately 5 litres of water a day?  And a fast dripping tap upto 70 litres?!  It’s hard to believe.

Causes of Dripping Taps & Mixers
  • a worn-out washer needs to be replaced
  • the tap needs to be re-seated (smoothed). If a new washer goes against a old rough seat (inside the tap) the new washer will wear out very quickly.
  • the headworks of the tap or the cartridge of a mixer needs replacing.  These are the parts that make the tap work.
  • debri has got into the water pipe and damaged the tap – having a filter valve installed prevents this.
  • water pressure is too high and has damaged the mixer.

When Craig is asked to fix a dripping tap, he begins by replacing the washer. He carries a range of washers in his van so he will most likely have the right one on-hand for a job.  If this doesn’t solve the problem, he investigates the other possible causes.

All taps and mixers are checked for drips as part of our plumbing warrant of fitness.  The warrant is a great way to check that your plumbing is water, energy and cost efficient.

Don’t put up with that dripping tap any longer!  Give Plumb a call.
Julie

 

 

Autumn Playing Havoc with Your Spouting?

Time to get the guttering cleaned out!

The Autumn leaves are beautiful but…they fill our guttering with leaves.   If you’re not a plumber, you may not be aware of some of the problems these leaves can create.  If not cleared from guttering/spouting, they can cause:

  • guttering to overflow when it rains
  • deterioration & rusting of metal guttering (due to dampness caused by accumulated debris)
  • blocked downpipes and stormwater drain pipes (if the debris gets dislodged by heavy rain, for example, and travels through the system)
Is it time to get your guttering cleaned?

The most obvious signs that you may have a build-up of debris in your guttering or downpipes are:

  • guttering that overflows when it rains
  • grass or small plants growing in your guttering

By getting your guttering cleaned and your downpipes checked for blockages, you can protect your guttering to prolong its life.  You could also avoid blockages in your drain pipes, which can be difficult & expensive to clear.

If you have trees near your home that regularly deposit leaves in your gutters, you may want to consider having gutter guard installed to prevent blockages.

With Winter around the corner, it’s a great time to get Craig to clean your guttering and check you guttering & downpipes for leaks & blockages.  Being over 6 foot tall and good with heights, he’s just the man for the job. He can also wipe your spouting clean while he’s up there to save you a job.   Or you may like him to install gutter guard so you won’t have to think about cleaning out your gutters again.  Alternatively, Craig can check your guttering for leaks and blockages as part of a Plumb WOF.

Keep dry,
Craig & Julie

Plumbing WOF – Announcing Our New Service!

We are excited to announce a new service that Plumb Plumbing & Drainage is offering homeowners  – a Plumb WOF.

Just as your car needs a warrant of fitness to check its safety, it is advisable to have your home’s plumbing checked.   A Plumb WOF is an honest assessment of your plumbing to see what’s looking good and where safety can be improved, damage avoided & money saved.

 

What will be checked?
  • Hot water system
  • Bathroom, kitchen & laundry plumbing
  • Spouting & downpipes
  • Water & drain pipes
  • Water pressure

Only accessible, visible plumbing can be checked – Craig will not be digging up your lawn or opening your walls!

 

The WOF Report

After Craig has done the inspection, you will receive a thorough report, itemising what has been checked and making professional recommendations.  All recommendations will be fully explained so you can make an informed decision about any plumbing work you would like to have done.

 

How Much Does a Plumb WOF Cost?

It costs $59+gst per house/flat – that’s it!  Should you decide on receiving the report that you want to go ahead with any of the recommended work, the cost of that work would be additional.  As many plumbing issues aren’t obvious until they’ve already caused significant damage, a Plumb WOF is money well spent.

 

Take a look at our leaflet and book your Plumb WOF today!

Craig & Julie

 

 

Give me a Strong Shower!

Why would I want to switch from a low pressure to a mains pressure hot water system?

The most common complaint people who have a low pressure system make is that their pressure is poor at the tap.  They want to luxuriate under a decent spray for their morning shower, not shiver under a dribble.  Another problem some experience is difficulty controlling water temperature with mixers.

 

What’s the difference between a low pressure and a mains pressure hot water system?

It used to be that all houses had low pressure hot water systems. The cold water from the street “main” usually went into each house’s supply tank, most commonly in the ceiling.  The water was then gravity-fed down to the hot water cylinder.  Alternative to a supply-tank set-up, a pressure-reducing valve was installed.  These systems were designed to reduce the water pressure because the hot water cylinders couldn’t withstand the high pressure of the water coming from the mains pipes.  More recently, hot water cylinders that could withstand the pressure from the mains were developed.  Water could be fed  into them straight from the mains pipes with a pressure-limiting valve, instead of via a supply tank or through an old-style pressure-reducing valve.

 

What does switching from a low pressure to a mains pressure hot water system involve?

The supply tank is disconnected or the pressure-reducing valve removed.  New pipework is then installed to carry cold water from the mains pipe to the new hot water cylinder.  A number of valves are also installed.  The pressure-limiting valve controls the pressure of the water as, ironically, it can also cause problems if it’s too high.  (You may be interested in our post Get Your Water Pressure Checked!Craig would be happy to come and look at what would be required to make the change at your home and provide you with an obligation-free quote at no cost.

 

Enjoy your showers,

Craig & Julie

Check Your Plumbing is Earthquake Ready

Our sympathies and thoughts go to all those who have been affected by the recent earthquakes.
We thought it would be helpful to suggest some checks you might want to make of your home’s plumbing to ensure it hasn’t been damaged by the quakes and to reduce the chance of damage in future shakes.

10mm Hot Water Pipe – Save Water & Money

ten-mm-pipewater-kitchen-black-design

I hate it when I turn on a tap or the shower and I have to stand waiting ages for the hot water to come through.  Apart from being impatient, I don’t like the thought of wasting water or what it must be doing to the power bill.

Over the past couple of years, plumbers have started using 10mm water pipes instead of the usual 15 or 20mm for hot water.  (The measurements are the diameter of the pipes).  Water sitting in the hot pipe cools down when it’s not being used.  Because 10mm pipe holds less water than larger pipes, less “dead water” is wasted before you get hot water at the tap and the hot comes through more quickly.  10mm pipe uses approximately one-third the amount of water as 20mm pipe – so it reduces your hot water bill dramatically.

Ideally, each tap would have it’s own 10mm pipe running directly to it.  In the past, one hot water pipe would be installed with numerous tee-offs to serve multiple taps.  But this means draining many more metres of pipe before the hot water arrives.  By re-configuring hot water pipes so each tap has it’s own 10mm pipe running directly from the hot water cylinder, the savings in water and money are extended.

We have had customers request Craig to replace their existing hot water pipe with 10mm pipe so they can enjoy the benefits of less dead water.  Any accessible hot water pipe in your ceiling or under the house can be replaced with 10mm pipe.  If you are renovating, it may be an opportunity to replace hot water pipes in the wall.  If you are building a new house, we highly recommend installing 10mm hot water pipe.

To maximise your hot water savings, your new 10mm hot water pipes should be lagged (insulated) to retain the heat.

10mm pipes are only recommended for houses with mains pressure as the water needs the force/drive to maintain pressure.  If you have mains pressure, you won’t notice a reduction in pressure if you replace your hot water pipes with 10mm.

Food for thought,
Craig & Julie.

 

Emergency! Do You Know Where To Turn Your Water Off?!

In the event of a burst pipe or leaking water tank, you will want to turn your water off immediately to minimise damage to your home.  If a plumber needs to work on your water pipes, they’ll likely need to turn the water off.  Do you know where your toby is?

Where can I find my toby?

If you live in a stand-alone house, there are some common places you can look for your toby.  It is usually near the front boundary of your house, often inline with a front hosetap.  Look in the garden, grass or footpath area by the boundary of your house.

In townhouses, the toby for each house is more likely indoors, such as in the garage or hot water cylinder cupboard.

Apartment buildings have a single toby that controls the water to all apartments, usually outside on the boundary.  Each apartment will also have its own toby, located somewhere inside the building, but not necessarily in the apartment.  They can be hard to find!  Try looking in your hot water cupboard and under the kitchen sink.  Your body corporate may have a plan of the building’s plumbing that could be helpful.

What am I looking for?

Most tobies are located in the ground, under a lid.  Older tobies often have a square metal lid.  Newer ones usually have black or blue oblong plastic lids.  They’ll often have “WCC” (Wellington City Council) on them.

In a townhouse or apartment building, they may be in the wall, within an access panel.

What if I Can’t Find my Toby?!

The Wellington City Council will both locate and repair tobies at no charge as it is their responsibility to provide water to each home.

How do I Know If My Toby is Working?

Check that the handle turns easily enough both clockwise (water off) and anticlockwise (water on).  To check that it’s working, turn it clockwise then turn on one of your taps and make sure it is indeed off (you would expect some water to come out initially as it drains water that was already sitting in the pipes).

So go and look for your toby now!
Craig & Julie

Get Your Water Pressure Checked!

water pressure test photo

Craig performing a water pressure test

Most people wouldn’t know what the water pressure is in their home.  They’d also be unaware of the often expensive impact that high water pressure can have.  High water pressure can increase your chance of a burst pipe and damage to your mixers, showerheads and other plumbing fittings.

Burst pipes can cause a lot of damage very quickly.  The manufacturer’s warranty on most mixers and some other fittings is invalidated if your water pressure is too high – so you especially want to make sure your water pressure has been checked if you’ve recently updated your bathroom or kitchen.

Craig is offering to do free water pressure checks. Doing a check takes just a few minutes and doesn’t require him to go inside your house, which can be useful for those working or with other commitments outside the home.  He can measure the pressure at an outdoor hose tap. If he finds that your pressure is too high, he will give you an obligation-free quote to install a pressure-limiting-and-filter valve, which would protect all of the plumbing on your house.  If he’s coming round to do some plumbing for you, why not ask him to check your pressure while he’s there?

And, if you’re concerned that reducing the pressure will weaken your nice strong morning shower, don’t worry – reducing it to normal working pressure should have minimal impact on your experience of water pressure at the tap.

Ready to help,
Craig & Julie